TNF Lions vs. Packers Week 4 odds and predictions
Every week, VSiN will be doing an in-depth dive on the week’s Thursday Night Football game. In Week 4, that game features the Green Bay Packers hosting the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. This is a massive NFC North divisional battle, as these teams are currently tied for first place in the standings. So, you can count on this game delivering something of a postseason feel, even if it is early in the season. With that out of the way, keep reading for our Lions vs. Packers preview, picks and player props.
MORE: Check out our Week 4 NFL Bet Hub for all of this week's best bets and content
How To Watch Lions vs. Packers
Date: Thursday, September 28
Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Channel: PRIME VIDEO (Amazon)
Lions vs. Packers Spread
The Lions haven’t been favored over the Packers at Lambeau Field since 1986, so it’s a bit new to see Detroit laying some points here. But that doesn’t mean it’s the wrong call. Both teams currently sit at 2-1 straight-up, but it’s Detroit that has earned higher quality wins. The Lions beat the Kansas City Chiefs on the road in Week 1, and they also came away with a dominant 20-6 win over the Atlanta Falcons last week. That Falcons team earned a 25-24 win over the Packers in Week 2, so it’s hard to ignore the results against a common opponent.
Detroit also happens to be 6-0 against the spread when facing division opponents since the start of last season, and the team is also 18-8 ATS versus conference opponents since the start of the 2021 season. So, the Lions have consistently gotten up for games like this since hiring head coach Dan Campbell, and I don’t see them failing to do so here. They know how open the division is now that Aaron Rodgers is no longer the quarterback for the Packers, and they feel as though they’re the team to beat in the division — even with big free agent acquisition C.J. Gardner-Johnson out indefinitely.
For me, the difference in this game is that Detroit is a little more reliable offensively. On the defensive side of the ball, not much separates the two. Through three games, the Packers are 10th in the league in Defensive DVOA and the Lions are right behind at 12th. But Detroit is currently seventh in the league in Offensive DVOA this year, and that’s not a matter of small sample size either. The Lions were seventh in the league in Offensive DVOA in 2022, and this passing game continues to be elite — despite a lot of people not being very high on Jared Goff.
That’s not to say that the Packers offense won’t be good this year. So far, Green Bay is a top-10 offense when it comes to DVOA. But I’m not quite there yet when it comes to trusting Jordan Love and the passing game. The first-year starter is coming off his worst performance of the year, as he completed only 50.0% of his passes and had just one touchdown and one interception. I know there were some late-game heroics, with the quarterback looking like a borderline star in the fourth quarter comeback. But the rest of the game was very ugly, and the Packers probably lose that game if Derek Carr doesn't get injured.
It's also going to be hard for the Packers to get their offense going with Aaron Jones banged up. This is a team that needs to blend the run and pass in order to operate the way it’s supposed to, and AJ Dillon just hasn’t been very efficient with his touches. He’s averaging only 2.7 yards per carry this season. It does sound like Jones will try to play in this game, but hamstring injuries are tricky. There’s no guarantee he’ll run as well as he normally does, and he might be at risk of hurting it again. And Green Bay is incredibly banged up along the offensive line, where three starters are questionable for this game. That's not what you want against a Detroit defense that is getting into the backfield regularly.
Lions vs. Packers Total
While both teams are top 10 in the league in Offensive DVOA, that doesn’t guarantee this will be a high-scoring affair. In fact, Thursday Night Football games rarely are. These short weeks make it very hard to prepare, which is why we usually watch sloppy football on Thursday nights. And I tend to think that this will be another relatively low-scoring primetime game.
The fact that these teams are divisional rivals also helps the case for an Under. This is going to be a physical football game, with a playoff-like atmosphere. Those types of games don’t normally turn into shootouts.
It’s also worth noting that the Under hit in both games these two played against one another last year. They combined to score only 24 points in Detroit on November 6, 2022, and then they combined to score only 36 points in Green Bay on January 8. So, the recent history suggests these two play smashmouth games.
Lions vs. Packers Player Props
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Amon-Ra St. Brown Over 75.5 Receiving Yards
Amon-Ra St. Brown has gone Over 75.5 receiving yards in back-to-back games, as he had 102 against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2 and then another 102 against the Atlanta Falcons last week. And it’s not like St. Brown struggled in Week 1. He had six catches for 71 yards and a touchdown in the win over the Chiefs, and it’s just clear that he is the focal point of this offense. And he has emerged as a blatant top-10 receiver in the NFL at this point, so he’s always going to be a threat to go out and have a big game. And that’s even true while he works through a somewhat serious toe injury. With all of that in mind, I like St. Brown to have another big game against the Packers on Thursday. Even in a game that I don’t expect to be high in scoring, I know Goff is going to pepper St. Brown in the passing game. And the Packers have been the fifth-worst team against opposing WR1s in DVOA this year.
Lions vs. Packers Prediction
The Lions have won-and-covered in three straight meetings with the Packers and I don’t see them slowing down now. Green Bay has gotten off to a better start than some expected this season, but the Packers still have a lot to prove before being accepted as a contender in the NFC North. But the Lions are one of the teams that people thought would take control of this division with Rodgers out of the picture, and Detroit has looked strong to start the season. I’d expect them to make a statement on the road in this TNF game, so I’m laying the small number of points.
Lean: Lions -1
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